A Lawrence man's drug trafficking trial started this week in federal court, but ended when he agreed to plead guilty.
Don Marcus Gibler signed a plea recommending he serve 27 years in federal prison for drug trafficking. The 28-year-old pleaded guilty this week to one count of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
He was standing trial on numerous charges, all related to selling crack cocaine.
Gibler's jury trial began Monday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan. U.S. attorneys said he distributed crack cocaine between 1999 and April 2006 in Lawrence.
The amount of cocaine distributed is expected to be revealed at Gibler's Oct. 15 sentencing, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Rask, who prosecuted the case.
"If you're involved with 5 grams or more of crack cocaine, it would be a statutory minimum of five years to 40 years (in prison)," Rask said. "If it's more than 50 grams, then (sentencing begins) at 10 years to life."
Gibler faces the possibility of more jail time, in addition to the standard minimum sentence of 20 years, because he already has one prior felony drug offense conviction, Rask said.
In his plea, Gibler admitted that he took part in a drug trafficking conspiracy in Lawrence with nine co-defendants: Aharlock Fixico, Branden Scott Walker, Carl Ray Roubison, Ryan Ezell Fowler, Lonnie Ray Teichman, John Burke Holt, Ryan Lavell Green, James William Beltch and Katheryn Alexander.
All have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
Gibler admitted that he, Fixico and Walker obtained ounce and multi-ounce quantities of cocaine or crack cocaine, which they distributed themselves or had other people - including co-defendants Roubison, Fowler, Teichman, Green, Beltch and Alexander - distribute.
Some of those individuals allowed Gibler, Fixico and Walker to use their residences to manufacture and distribute crack, prosecutors said.
Before they were arrested in early 2006, some of the men had operated out of a small home at 514 Locust St. in North Lawrence, a block from Woodlawn School.
Gibler, Holt and Fixico all will be sentenced Oct. 15.